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5 Lessons Customer Service Can Teach Marketing

Raise your hand if you’ve had this experience: you get some great customer service, and pass along the good vibes by mentioning it to a friend or family member. Then you get some bad customer service – and you tell everyone who’ll listen just how awful it was. It’s a little bit of karma for those businesses.

There’s a lesson in there for marketers. In fact, with so many marketing messages flooding all of us every day, often times the challenge for marketers is being remembered at all. But one way to increase the power of your marketing efforts is to think more like a customer service pro.

Here are five lessons customer service can teach us all.

1. Be a good listener

Marketers are generally pushy people. We can admit this, right? It’s our job to push the business or the product out there to the masses, and being shy about it isn’t part of the equation. But how often are we really listening to what our target audience is saying about us?

Being a good listener might be the most vital part of providing fantastic customer service, and it can also be a huge help to your marketing efforts. Take time to step back from all the noise and just listen. You might hear some incredibly useful things. Endure any “awkward” silences and let the customer speak more.

2. Know who’s the boss

Any experienced customer service pro will tell you they don’t work to please their boss, they work to please their customers. The customers ARE the boss. Sound familiar?

It’s no different in the marketing world. As a marketer, your entire job is to attract more customers, so who do you really think you should be beholden to at the end of the day? Don’t lose sight of the fact that all those people you are marketing to are potential customers, and those customers pay your paycheck.

3. Know your customers’ habits

There’s no denying the impact that deep and comprehensive market research can have, but do you know how your potential customers are actually behaving on a day-to-day basis? In the same way people love when their favorite restaurant or coffee shop knows their order as soon as they walk in the door, marketers should strive not to just understand generalities about market segments, but get to the heart of how they act day after day. I promise, you’re not being a stalker if you do it right!

4. Make yourself memorable

People are bombarded every waking hour of their day with marketing messages and brands trying to sell them something. It’s incredibly difficult to rise above the noise and get your message across, but finding a way to make yourself memorable is key. Think about the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant. I’d bet the service was one of the best parts. The food was great, but you probably have a clearer memory of the server who went the extra mile.

Marketers can apply this lesson by creating messages designed to have an impact beyond the obvious. You may come to a restaurant for the food the first time, but the wonderful owners or the charming server keep you coming back.

5. Treat everyone as an individual

It’s easy to think of your target markets as nameless and faceless groups that simply exist to be marketed to. In fact, these are a group of individuals that are as different as they are the same. The key lesson to take from the customer service realm is to treat everyone as an individual, and with sincerity. Everyone appreciates individual attention, so look for ways to dig into your target markets and connect with individuals. It can have a profound impact.

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